- Runs by an Eritrean and Ethiopian family
By Okon Ekpenyong
There is only one location of Jon Smith Subs so far in Ohio, and it is independently owned and operated by an Eritrean and Ethiopian American family who lives in Columbus. The Whitehall location has been open for about eight months now.
In an article published by Columbus Dispatched on June 17, 2021, “Here’s the latest sandwich shop that wants to open in Columbus,” Jon Smith Subs announced that it plans to open up to twenty locations in the Columbus area. The company is likely to find more franchisees soon after the Whitehall location’s success; however, for now, its closest location is in Clinton Township, Michigan, and the other is in White Lake, Michigan.
The company’s website states that the first Jon Smith Subs opened in 1988 in Palm Beach County, FL, with the single-minded commitment to serve the absolute best-quality overstuffed, marinated grilled sirloin steak and real chicken breast subs possible.
As Habteab Gebreab, co-owner of the Columbus franchise, states in an interview, what sets Jon Smith Subs apart from the rest is that everything is prepared fresh in the store daily, differentiating them from their competitors.
Aside from that, Gebreab also emphasized that their sirloin steak and chicken breasts are trimmed, sliced, seasoned, marinated, and grilled to order.
“The opening of the first Jon Smith Subs in Whitehall, Ohio, is an opportunity since there is a significant Ethiopian, Eritrean, Somalian, and East African community around here, so it is a pride for us to have a business here. Everything is prepared fresh and cooked to order, and customers can customize as much as they like,” Gebread said.
Customers can choose white Italian and wheat bread, which we have wrapped. Steak and Chicken Bomb is the most popular item on the menu, followed by the Italian, which contains Genoa salami, smoked ham, pepperoni, capicola, provolone, oregano, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and mayonnaise.
When some franchisees open their locations, there may be an opportunity to add to the menu, so when we asked Gebread, he replied that they are finalizing what Jon Smith represents. Gebread wants to establish itself in Whitehall and Central Ohio; they can then introduce other products once they receive the green light from Jon Smith Subs.
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